Sunday, October 19, 2014

and back again

Well I'll begin with the story of Errol. Once upon a time, Errol was a little boy living in Suva. His cousins were all LDS, so he was very familiar with the religion. They even convinced him to go to the LDS Primary School (elementary school) and later the LDS College (combined middle and high school). Pretty soon he was asking his parents if he could be baptized, but alas, the parents said no. Flash forward to 2013, Errol was in his 50's, living on the other island in Savusavu. He had just had a stroke, and could no longer walk or use his right hand. He was helpless. Who was it that came to him and basically took care of him until he had recovered enough to take care of himself? Elders Motuliki and Rainsdon. It took a lot of patience, but they also managed to teach him a couple of the lessons, though it didn't seem as if he could understand them very well. Eventually, they both got transferred and Errol moved to Nasinu. Incredibly, Elder Motuliki was also transferred to Nasinu, and somehow found him and began teaching him again. But because he needed to be taught in English, he was referred to the missionaries who were in the English ward, aka Me and Sister Uoka. Wow it took time to teach him, because we had to go very slowly and review a lot. But then Sister Mataoa came, and suddenly he started to really get it. And not only that, he came to church everySunday. He read his Book of Mormon and the Liahona regularly. He talked about Thomas S. Monson like they were close friends. Ah, Errol was a delight. We had to postpone his baptism a couple of times, but it was ok. He needed to be baptized according to the Lord's calendar, not ours. And so, on October 18th, 2014, Errol David Bert Whippy was baptized, and the following day he was confirmed a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was baptized by Elder Motuliki (our District Leader), and Elder Rainsdon (our Zone Leader) gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. It was an awesome experience for all of us. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PLANTING SEEDS. Eventually, they will get baptized. 
Now mom, this story is one that you may not appreciate...
We are teaching the brother of a girl from our ward that just left on her mission. His name is George Brown (I know, a total palagi name, but he's Fijian). He works on a boat, and before he used to spend a lot of time in New Zealand. While he was there, he went to church every week at an LDS church. Since then his life has gone a bit more zigzag. But now we are teaching him, and he is progressing nicely. Anyway, we taught him the first lesson. We taught him about the Book of Mormon. I looked in my bag and realized that I did not have a copy to give him. But as I testified of the Book of Mormon, and told him about how it changed my life, I had the strongest impression to give him my extra triple combination that I carry around with me. But there was something that was holding me back from doing so. You see, this triple combination was special. It was one that my mom had used back when she was in seminary, all those years ago. Reading it had brought me so much comfort, because it made me feel like I was with her. Seeing her markings, reading her notes. How could I give it away, and to someone that I wasn't even sure would use it properly. But I can't deny a prompting. I gave it to him. And I let him know just how special it was. He was touched. He promised to read it. And guess what, he has. He has been eating it up. Yay George! And he has a baptismal date for November 15. MOM DON'T BE ANGRY, PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THINGS :D haha  (This is the Mom.  I am not angry, obviously.  I can't think of a better place for my old triple combo to go.  And who knows?  Maybe I'll see it again someday…)
I know that this gospel is true with every fiber of my being. I just finished the Doctrine and Covenants again. What a fascinating and powerful book. Now I have a new triple combination, and I am going to use it like crazy. I'm going to mark it and make it beautiful from obvious signs of use and love. Just like my mom's, the one I gave to George. Then one of my siblings or my children can take it on their mission and give it to one of their investigators. It will be great. Pay it forward! :)
Now for the next story. This will come as a shock to everyone, including me.
I'm getting transferred.
And I'm going to...............Lautoka again. Hahahahahaha. 
I remember when I first left Lautoka, the day before my birthday. I vowed that I would return. And what do you know, not only am I going back, but I am going to die there. 
Though not in the same ward. I was serving in Lautoka 1st before, now I'll be in Lautoka 2nd. 
Could this be the mountain I was praying for? Perhaps...but with only 6 weeks left, it won't be a long-term mountain. I'm excited to learn some new things and to grow closer to my Savior, because that's what mountains do. 
My companion will be Sister Siale, another Tongan. She was in Suva 3rd for awhile, so we got to know each other and we got along fine. Should be great!
I am definitely going to miss Nasinu. I have grown a lot in this area. It has been hard but it has been great. I am happy to say that I am leaving it in better shape than I found it. I am not taking credit for this, I give all of the credit to the Lord. But it feels good, because I know that the area is set. We have like six baptisms lined up for the next few months, and a ton of work to do. And not only that, but I am leaving the place in good hands. Sister Mataoa is a boss. I love her so much. I'll miss her, but I'll see her again when I go to Tahiti in a couple of years...
I will miss the ward. I will miss these people. I really love them. This has been the area that I have spent the most time in. Seven months. Wow. That's a long time. It's definitely had an impact on my life and I am grateful for it. So so grateful. 
Suva Lautoka Suva Lautoka. It's a pattern.
On to the next adventure!
I love you all. I'll see you soon. 
Let's endure to the end together. 


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